State agency receives $2.9M grant to upgrade unemployment services
A $2.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor has been awarded to Iowa Workforce Development to make improvements to high-use services tied to unemployment insurance, the state agency announced. The money will pay for enhancements that will ultimately eliminate additional barriers, reduce backlogs and improve the overall timeliness of unemployment payments. “This award will help us make unique enhancements to improve the way we deliver unemployment benefits and will increase the viability of core agency services over the long term,” Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce’s director, said in a prepared statement. Specifically, the money awarded to the state agency will be used to enhance phone software to include such features as call transcription; assist in efforts to identify misclassified workers; and update materials distributed to the public.